Not All Greeting Card Stores Need 'Sympathies'
Not all card stores will survive.
"It needs to be about unique cards," Baxter says. "Handmade cards are wonderful things that you cannot buy online. Ideally you want to create inventory that is unique, that people need to come to you for, and you need to layer that with fantastic customer service. It's the experience as much as the product."
Zoel Fages, the owner of Perch, an urban gift and home decor store in San Francisco, says cards are his third-best sales category.
"We do a little more off-humor," he says. "We still have nice cards, but I think the selection we offer is what has helped us."Especially in the economy, "someone will be willing to spend even $4 to $5.50 for a card -- maybe not a gift -- but if they found a really nice card that really hits the nail on the head for the person they are buying for," he says. Cards are such a popular item at Perch that Fages decided rather than to sell boxed holiday cards, this year he is letting customers mix and match separates. Perch will offer price breaks at six cards bought and again at a dozen, he says. He also plans to create a loyalty program for cards. "When we opened I had closets with two doors that I made cards and I now have both walls and five spinners" filled with cards, he says. "People come in and buy 20 cards at a time. If it's a really slow day, sometimes it's all cards." Dana Norman, owner of CardSmart in Plainview, N.Y., is fairly new to the card store business. Norman, along with her business partner, Michele Rothberg, bought the discount card store in June from its original owner because they thought there was untapped opportunity, given the affluent clientele and high foot traffic in the shopping center where the business is located. "We felt that there was a void. The prior owner was missing the mark in what the market needed," Norman says.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV